The English surname Copley, mainly found in Yorkshire, is an habitational name from any of various places called Copley, for example in County Durham, Staffordshire, and Yorkshire, from the Old English personal name Coppa (apparently a byname for a tall man) or from copp meaning “hilltop,” and leah meaning “woodland clearing.” Johannes de Copelay and Willelmus de Coppelay are listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns (1379). The marriage of Edmond Copley and Ann Rawlyns took place at st. Michael's Bassishaw, London on October 15th 1543. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was James Copley, aged 22 yrs., who departed from the Port of London, aboard the "Globe", bound for Virginia, in August 1635. Today there are approximately 6,500 bearers of the name Copley living in the US.
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